UPDATE El Salvador exguerrilla in presidential vote runoff narrowly misses victory

first_imgRelated posts:Leftist parties gaining ground as Costa Rica and El Salvador elections near Tired of gangs and poverty, Salvadorans head to the polls Sunday to choose between the left and right Ex-rebel commander favored in El Salvador runoff Conservative in Salvadoran vote demands fresh polls as political divisions intensify SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – A former leftist guerrilla narrowly missed victory in El Salvador’s presidency race Sunday, and will now face a runoff vote with a conservative rival, according to official results.With 81 percent of the vote counted, ruling leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) candidate Salvador Sánchez Cerén had nearly 49 percent of the vote, just missing the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff.He will now face former San Salvador Mayor Norman Quijano, 67, of the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) in a second round of voting on March 9, the Supreme Elections Tribunal said.“They gave us a triumph in the first round and we’re sure that in the second round the difference will not be 10 points, it will be more than 10 points, it will be a great victory,” Sánchez Cerén told reporters.Quijano, who obtained nearly 39 percent of the vote, is hoping to eke out a victory with support from smaller conservative parties that did poorly in Sunday’s election.Having made it to a runoff vote “is proof that we can win,” Quijano told a group of supporters, adding that he was ready for the “great battle” on March 9.Sánchez Cerén, 69, is the country’s vice president and is hoping to succeed President Mauricio Funes, also of the FMLN.Voting took place without major violence in the poverty-stricken country, and election authorities said the turnout was lower than in previous elections.The small but densely populated Central American country of six million is plagued by brazen gang violence and still burdened by the legacy of its bitter 1979-1992 civil war.Tackling rampant violence and povertyAfter ending the conservatives’ 20-year hold on the country with Funes’s 2009 election, the FMLN nominated Sánchez Cerén, a civil war-era guerrilla commander, in a bid to shore up a country crippled by rampant crime and high poverty.“Whoever wins needs to be aware that in this country the cost of living is high, there’s no work and the maras are harassing us – an overwhelming task awaits,” said voter Argentina Campos, 41.Sánchez Cerén has promised an inclusive government and speaks of a “grand national accord.”Quijano’s candidacy was overshadowed by corruption allegations against an ARENA campaign adviser, ex-President Francisco Flores (1999-2009).The next president’s challenges include handling gang violence. Known in the region as “maras,” the criminal groups control whole neighborhoods and run drug distribution and extortion rackets.Homicides were running at 14 per day until a gang truce in March 2012, which helped bring the rate down to seven per day.Still, the maras are believed to have about 60,000 members, 10,000 of whom are behind bars.Sánchez Cerén is proposing a program that would allow ex-gang members to rejoin society, while Quijano is calling for a tough law-and-order crackdown on crime.With more than 40 percent of the population living in poverty, voters are also interested in jobs and economic stability.“What we want from the next president is peace and work,” as well as more security, 73-year-old retiree Noe González said on the streets of the capital’s rough Mejicanos suburb.If elected, Sánchez Cerén would be Latin America’s third ex-guerrilla president, following in the footsteps of Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff and Uruguay’s José Mujica.The new president is due to take office on June 1. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Last year going into the playoffs we didnt hav

first_img“Last year, going into the playoffs, we didn’t have a good attitude,” head coach Bruce Arians said, noting how this year’s team has a different attitude heading into the playoffs. “We were probably a very tentative team, knowing that we were going to struggle to score points, rather than coming in as one of the top offenses in the league and one of the better defenses in the league. This is a much different football team.”How different?Last season, Arizona entered the postseason with the league’s 24th-ranked offense in yards. They averaged 19.4 points per game behind a revolving door of quarterbacks and a running game that finished 31st in the league.Now, they enter the playoffs with the league’s top-ranked offense in terms of yards, and their 30.6 points per game is second in the NFL. They are also eighth in the league in rushing yards.Defensively, last season the Cardinals were also 24th in yards allowed, though they surrendered just 18.7 points per game, which ranked fifth.Now, they are ranked fifth in yards allowed, with their 19.6 points given up per game placing them in a tie for seventh.It’s not exactly comparing apples and oranges, but at the same time, there is little comparison between the team that lost to the Carolina Panthers 27-16 in the Wild Card Round and the one that is viewed by Las Vegas the favorite to win Super Bowl 50. TEMPE, Ariz. — Going into the playoffs last season, there was plenty of talk about the “next man up” and how the Arizona Cardinals were confident they could put together a deep postseason run despite all the injuries they were dealing with.But really, everyone knew while the team may have genuinely hoped they could overcome everything the football gods had thrown at them, the truth is it was going to be very difficult to keep winning. It was understandably not talked about before or after the team’s final game — the last thing a team wants to do is give itself an excuse for losing — but at the same time, no one was oblivious to the situation. Comments   Share   Freeney and Iupati have even appeared in the Super Bowl, with the former earning a ring with the Indianapolis Colts after a 29-17 win over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI in 2007.More important and crucial than experience, however, is that Carson Palmer, the team’s Pro Bowl and record-setting quarterback who threw for 4,671 yards and 35 touchdowns this season, is healthy.“It’s a dream come true. As the season starts, you dream of being in this position,” the qurterback said. “You always want to make the playoffs, but to have that first-round bye and a chance to play all your games at home is pretty special. So, it’s a dream come true.”Last season, Palmer was sidelined with a torn ACL, and his backup, Drew Stanton, was also out with a knee injury. Without them, Ryan Lindley got the start under center, and he completed just 16-of-28 passes for 82 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in a game that saw the Cardinals muster just 78 yards of net offense, a playoff record low.Receiver Larry Fitzgerald said he did not think the team was tentative then, but understands they weren’t themselves.“But just not having Carson, I don’t think we had a full shot to really do what we were really capable of doing,” he said. “I think it was more just, we were a bit frustrated that we were going in, like, undermanned. This year it’s a completely different vibe.” Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Cardinals will be without Pro Bowl defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, whose season ended with a torn ACL in Week 15, and are likely to not have Redding, either, due to an ankle injury. Outside of those two — and defensive lineman Corey Peters, who was lost for the season during training camp — Arizona will next take the field with a pretty healthy roster.“That’s all you could ask for, is a shot to go out there and play your game,” Fitzgerald said.Just as the team’s injury troubles impacted its confidence going into last year’s playoffs, this year’s health does too, only in a positive way.“We’re a lot more confident, that’s for sure,” defensive lineman Calais Campbell said. “The belief is strong in the locker room, the guys are hungry.”There may be a sense of unfinished business given how things transpired last season, and with roughly a week until they open their playoff run at University of Phoenix Stadium, the feeling is more of excitement than concern or disappointment.There are plenty of reasons for that, of course, but the main one is that No. 3 will be on the field leading the way.“Quarterbacks, that’s key,” offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said. “That’s key to being a head coach, that’s key to success in this league. We can talk about defense and all that stuff, if you don’t have a quarterback it’s going to be tough sailing. “I just think we’re more equipped to the situation,” cornerback Jerraud Powers said. “Last year it was a bunch of the leaders and the veterans that are here hadn’t been in a playoff game.”Powers pointed to how Patrick Peterson and Michael Floyd, among others, had never experienced the intensity of the NFL postseason.“I remember after walking off, in Carolina, walking off the field, I looked at Pat and was like, ‘Now you know what it takes to get here. You have to play at a different level or whatnot,’” he added. “I think this year’s group, with the young guys from the last two years now considered veterans, I think they’ve taken heed to it and I think you see a more calm-natured team that’s just ready for the challenge of whatever it is.”While not a necessity for a deep playoff run, experience past Week 17 certainly does not hurt. Most of the team was around for last year’s disappointment, and many of the players who weren’t — such as guard Mike Iupati, linebacker Dwight Freeney and defensive lineman Cory Redding — have seen more than their fair share of postseason action. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 34-31. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) “Been there, done that in a Super Bowl myself when the quarterback was not up to par, and we lost, and the other team with the good quarterback won. The quarterback drives this league, I don’t care what anybody says. We’ve got ours, and he’s playing pretty good right now.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more